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Jonathan Katz Education. (2013) 'The Big Truck That Went By How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.'

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Port-au-prince 14, Us 14, America 9, U.s. 6, United States 5, Washington 5, U.n. 4, Fiji 4, Boston 3, Ap 3, Preval 2, Sandy 2, Haiti 2, Leogone 2, Dick Jackson 2, New York 2, California 2, The City 2, Sean Penn 2, Jerry Bruckheimer 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Jonathan Katz  Education.  (2013) 'The Big Truck That  
   Went By How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a...  

    February 19, 2013
    7:00 - 8:00am EST  

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topic usually provokes. so i'm going to start by reading from chapter one, the end. and before i do i'm going to -- you can talk amongst yourselves for a minute. it's actually really funny. this brand of water, in the book, had i known that i would've actually picked out, try to look forward. but these were actually delivered to haiti after the earthquake by the u.s. military. it's called fiji water for a reason. it comes from fiji which is, you know, caribbean geography, not in the caribbean. and it was sent at quite a lot of expense and quite a lot of effort. it was a very beautiful project for photographers to take pictures of these gleaming pallets of bottled water coming off these planes with the
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concept been that there was this incredible water crisis, incredible food crisis. the way it was often reported was haiti was on perhaps the verge of a famine following the earthquake. and there were real problems, then and you know, they're certainly needed to be a response, but this is an example of a response that was not very well thought out. it was a grenades just on behalf of the fiji water company. it was a lovely gesture, but it was sort of ridiculous because they actually do have water in haiti. it is an island, much like fiji, and what really need to be done was for the water to be purified and cleaned up and the existing system of water in system to be improved. and franklin long before the
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earthquake, potable water to be implemented and maintained, and for government institutions to be supported in forms that would be capable of doing that kind of thing, which would have eliminated a major part of the crisis when the earthquake struck and could be done now to help eliminate and ameliorate and address present crises, including the cholera epidemic which we can talk about later, and other crises of the future. so thank you for the visual laid, fiji water. ladies and gentlemen, i'm not going to drink some which may make me a bit of a hypocrite, but as you read in the book that is also part of my character. [laughter] >> okay, so the end. the phone was next to me on the bed not ringing. it was a hot, slow jimmy reston, just best for 45 p.m. in the hills above port-au-prince and
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the new celis paul that fell between christmas and carnival offered few distractions. ap house, my view and residents in petionville was quite get my loan housemate was on home leave in spain. he was her main translator and driver, was finishing some phone calls in the large first floor office spac space before headinn the hill to space before heading downhill to a step families place where he'd been living since his divorce. the only other person was a hard-working haitian mechanic who is outside replacing the brake pads under my hopeless, 13 your geo tracker. i was upstairs in my room. the call i was waiting for was from someone at ap telling me that i could check out. after two and half years of disasters and riots, a personal and political entry, money pit cars, and that one utility icon, i was done with 80. my friends were great. the house was terrific. a two-story with creekstone
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walls on the first floor and a big terrace, setback among hibiscus is in line trees behind the. >> host: . from the slum rising behind, the sound of children playing field the day, and i fall asleep handclap hallelujahs from the church at night. but ap had long talked about getting rid of the house, and my foreign friends, done with their two-year rotations, had mostly shipped off to the next crisis. aps international editor in new york told me i could pick my next position, so long as it was kabul, lagos, or baghdad. i chose afghanistan to get sound like a good place for a break. all that was left was for the phone to ring. to kill time i played online trivia against a friend in the states. i'm sitting on my bed in grey boxers and a sleeveless undershirt, sweating of the last of the tuesday. we started a new game. many human body corporate every letter of the alphabet, and a minute or less. i did not jejunum was spelled like that, i typed into the chat
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window as time ran out. you win. i heard a loud rumbling outside. i looked out the window, but the yard was in the. must be a water truck. then it started to vibrate. i heard played traveling in the kitchen downstairs to the wooden mask from mexico i'd always worried might fall started his way. medicine bottles, suntan lotion, and bug spray she made on the roundtable i left clutter because i've never counted on staying in haiti long enough to need a disaster. had been a rubble on the island before, a little one, when i was the correspondent on its other side in the dominican republic. this couldn't be one of those. i stood up from the bed, their feet against the wood floor, but felt nothing. the roar outside got louder. in the floor started to move. fat vibrations got thicker. christ, maybe it is one of those i thought. what do you do in one of those? of doorway. something about a doorway. i walked toward but for some reason kept going into the hall. and everything shoved. i lowered myself, or maybe i
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fell. and the shift came the other way. then another and another. everything was falling. a framed photo from jerusalem barely missed my head and cracked on the floor. everything was flowing now, blasts coming to the walls, waves through the floor. there was a contest between the up inside and the site to site. who was going to shove harder, the up and down for the site to site? they were fourth -- they were both winning. there was a mechanical roar. i answered no no no no no no no no no. the world turned gray and everything blurred, things fallinfalling long after toshiba nothing left to fall. the horizontal slats of the crank out windows shot from the frames at first across the floor. i watched the front wall cracked into, they like pushing through the driving test. with every heartbeat of the floor disappeared from under me and reappeared and was gone. it was going to fall. i was going to fall. i pretty sound like trees being mowed down in a forest. it was the house next-door collapsing. seconds to go. i thought about running through shattered glass and tumbling
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down the stairs but there was no time. when the second floor when, i could even be under it or ride down on top of the. i went with on top and braced for the pain. that's the beginning of the end. so going to jump forward a little bit here, read a couple of short sections. so, the book actually takes a large step back after the first chapter and goes through quite a lot of haitian history. approximate back about 60 million years. and then comes back forward and talked about the immediate aftermath of the day after, the first chapter goes through. there's much more of the first chapter than a red, and then we come into a chapter you're called the crossroads, which is about the immediate tip of the spear response when the things
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that most of us outside of haiti saw on television, the responders coming in and the military and such. so i talk a lot about a lot of different things that were happening at the time, but one of the things that is going to talk about here is search and rescue. because -- well, i'll explain why in the first since the search and rescue was the highest priority. ban ki-moon called it the most urgent need, and obama noted the six u.s. search teams in all his speeches. he informed south, that not hundreds of thousands would need to be extracted from the rubble. the rescue team specialist technology and training example fight the advantages the developed world offered haiti. sensitive microphones, heatseeking devices, rescue dogs. news coverage centered on the rescue. a six vessel rescue was like the earthquake in reverse.
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the tone of the reporting took on our religious and. quote, a new york rescue squad pulled two miracles from the rubble of 80, led the "new york daily news." as california governor arnold schwarzenegger, quote, many of us were able to watch the california rescuers live on television performing all of these miracles. the first u.s. team to reach 80 was dispatched to headquarters and after 10 hours of song, pulled out a bodyguard with minor injuries. other teams scoured the caribbean supermarket were with one spot or 10-dollar box of super an enormous effort targeted the collapse which had 200 people inside, mostly foreigners. general keane who was the head of the u.s. military response would quote the hotel montana one time at 16 alone because of the number of people trapped there. the places where ordinary people
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lived and worked, schools, stores, homes and offices, many with equally gasping members as i got far less attention. today's after the quake one hill over from the hotel montana, cnn's ivan watson watched a team of haitian restaurant tried to free an 11 year-old girl whose legs were pinned under concrete. they could reach a but they didn't have equipment to get her out. the buried child, ghostly with powdered concrete wailed for the crew. without blood for transfusion the amputation could killer. watson, his voice shaking, told the anchor in atlanta, on a neighboring hill there's a posh hotel, and a lot of foreigners were staying at. there were dozens of americans, french and other rescuers working to rescue at least one woman named sarah who is trapped. another screen from the rubble stop them cold to even with international attention on her, it took the rest of the day to find a generator to power saw and pull the girl out. she died of her injuries two
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days later. there are reasons for this disparity. post when rescuers arrived without clear orders where to go. the haitian government had no reporting mechanism in place for those in need, and there was no formal coordination of rescue efforts either between international organizations or between the generals best task force and the haitian government. foreign officials near the u.n. headquarters hotel montana and caribbean supermarket. one of his own men was among the hundreds of foreigners buried at the montana. those offended into wider port-au-prince-based language barriers and security concerns. some impose curfews to work outside the highest compound, retreating based on vague reports of quote civil unrest. the coverage of those rescue sites provide a much-needed uplift for viewers abroad. their miracles were flowed in hope. the luxury hotels i and fine supermarkets appeared on broadcast around the world. when you rescue teams came in, they knew where to go. they had already seen the priority cycle on tv.
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and i will jump to one more, middle of the book, in a chapter called -- i can't really explain. well, i could explained by the by the book. but it talks about a donors' conference from a very important donors conference that was held in march of 2010, at the end of march 2010, at which the international community, representatives of the government, major international opposition such as the red cross came together in new york at the united nations to make pledges for the long-term rebuilding of haiti. that is in this chapter in this part is just a little before. as the donors' conference approach, it's organized want to draw attention to what they considered priorities for reconstruction. u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon arrived on march 14. the days were getting longer now. dry tropical way to giving way to spring he.
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pharmacy on the mountains of weighted the daily range to nourish the corn, potatoes. but the weather looked more ominous in the city. it was impossible to is exactly how may people were now slipping under open skies, the most widely estimate wagered over 1 million. overseas journalists and policymakers realizing there was a chance they were not going anywhere begin reporting on their hazard. unsanitary, crime-ridden hotbeds simmering for for the calamity. microcosms. the highlight of the sector generals trip was a visit to one of these camps. take the most famous of all, three course of the way up the hill from downtown port-au-prince on the golf course. the iron gated clubhouse was still a forward operating base of the u.s. army 82nd airborne, the young paratroopers. with curiosity. waiting out front was a more familiar face, smiling between a blue t-shirt and a blue trucker
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hats, becoming a force is more powerful than the soldiers. sean penn had arrived in haiti \90{l1}s{l0}\'90{l1}s{l0} after the quake, spearheading a new nga bankrolled by a boston form financier. for a few days the leading team of the relief organization distributed water filters and medical aid here and there, then an army officer was invited inside the why part of every one of the team, soldiers were most excited about sean penn fellow actor turned aid worker who had just, payday -- plaited bartender and coyote ugly. he walks to the actors down the hill. at a clinic he highlighted the ongoing medical aid. deemphasize need to print women girls from sexual violence. finally, he stopped conflict into a ridge overlooking the
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golf course. cameras, he called out, directing journalists to get a shot before thousands of blue, white, and others. once everyone is in place, he spoke. i'm concerned the rainy season is approaching. what will happen to the people who are living here? secretary-general notions went towards the 45,000 people in the code below. with the movies displaced persons to a safer place. once again, it was important to understand both the threat and its limit. on a normal day in port-au-prince rain is dangers. there's little drainage on the street causing roads to backup like bathtubs. the storms hit hard, believe one job, a thousand jobs, then a river falling from the sky. if the rain goes on long enough some pedestrians will get swept away, and a house or two might get knocked into a ripping. it was a major overstatement to believe the reins would cause a quote second month of death,
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unquote anyway commensurate with the earthquake come as bill clinton would soon warn, or that the ground would become significantly more dangerous than it had been before the quick. the rain could be bad but it isn't usually that bad. the caribbean doesn't have a monsoon. the danger of floods and landslides would be somewhat greater when hurricane season got underway in late summer and fall, but in march there was still several months to mitigate the danger. nevertheless, after returning to near, he would expand on his concerns and washington's post, writing that the ground would soon turn to mud, dangerous, and disease. he joined the drumbeat of warnings about the approaching of the rain. aid agencies are in a race against time, read a typical press release to once again, it was as if the only way to get these groups and others to act was to great indiscriminate panic. and again, the media were not amused. when the first season rain shower hit in the corporate
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editors rushed me out mid-storm to come white house, the golf course. with a waterproof notebook and different and look as if i was entering the mekong delta in july. i switched, stopped to the new screens of two men playing cards in a landslide outside of their 10. now, no mother would want to spend the night holding her crying baby in two feet of water. you can find out what that is. while the wind blew and thunder crashed over the leaky talks come and know just what was standby, nearly ever made ngo signed on, to a minimum global stand for disaster response that quote people have sufficient cover living space to provide thermal comfort, fresh air and protection from the climate in showing their privacy, safety and health. this was a lofty goal as many patients did not enjoy those conditions even before the earthquake. it was also part of what bill clinton meant when he said that he should quote build back
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better. but to back there. but to me the responders would have done well to avoid the scuttlebutt in the early going. after all, had those -- widespread civil unrest, and have the clusters carefully considered tragedies to take offense at a spontaneous decentralization of six or thousand people who went to the country side after the earthquake, the zone might not have ended up with huge camps in the first place. secretary-general of the golf course not withstanding no one was going to be relocated before the rain started dinners. haitian government attempt to find relocation space kept stalling because the wealthy founders who controlled most of went in and around the city refused to donate it. it was equally unlikely an official as cautious as ban ki-moon would've made such a statement without knowing that people would be relocated soon, or at least where. so he knew something we didn't get i ran to ask you more but after a few days were, i saw sean penn walking alone. i reached the actor just before
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use population spokesman came over to introduce a russian colleague and then ask some questions. what's the plan for the rain? to my surprise the actor answered in detail. what is the plan, or what should be the plan, he replied? what should be the plan is total relocation. he started giving extended after the secretary-general hadn't and his delivery was everything, demonstrative, vivid and intense. you could forgive all the swimming he had a list. he was handsome and weathered by 49ers on earth. with 10 skin wrapped tight around hollow cheeks, tattoos, and a pair of aviator sunglasses dangling from his neck when. as he explained the details of camp life he seemed to draw from his recent portrayal of willie stark, the charismatic but vindictive governor of louisiana in the remake of all the kings men, though what that doomed character -- sean penn went for
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the modern ngo. quote another thing that i think has to be very clear is that a target is not attend he said. a t.a.r.p. structure is not attend but a t.a.r.p. structure sits on dirt, toxic dirt, dirt which carries back stare at -- bacteria. and finally he nailed this point to this is a cancer should be relocated as many of them should be in flood zones and so and, frankly, migh my the went to woo understand how to address the unless billy currently of the city if only for children. unicom every good deed today is another cancer patient tomorrow. from what they are briefing on the street. the actor sat out paramus relocation with the confidence of a hardened field management outside port-au-prince, not in flood zone quote, large-scale urban camps manufacturing, needed lancer agriculture and the ability to build communities, unquote. it was an impassioned plea. unafraid to conflict u.s.
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policy. and impressively, especially considering it came from a newly minted as a newly minted as a result of live aid worker. but perhaps it wasn't so hypothetical after all. when the population fund spokesman as sean penn if he is helping choose the relocation site, and not question for aid worker, let alone a celebrity when you think about it, he surprised me again by saying that the quote had a meeting with the president the other day in washington extend to members of his government to speak and advise on this. we will be shown some of the sites. i was confused. sean penn had a meeting with president preval in washington? granted, the actresses were now officially ambassadors, more visible, probably more influential. george clooney would become a quasi-master later that you. organize a system of private satellites to monitor troop movements. sean penn who had been involved
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in politics for years as an advocate seem to be taking the next step, to, and shipping directly to policymaking but perhaps there'd be more to ban ki-moon choice of camp to visit than the one off round of publicity. that's it. [applause] >> so i think probably the best thing to do, because i will find a way to talk on any topic, whether my choosing or yours, is to open it up for questions. so there's a microphone going around. and also please speak up so that everybody can hear you well. >> are you planning on going back to haiti since? >> speak up a little more spent are you planning on going back very soon? >> yes. [laughter]
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>> so, i understand that wyclef jean started a foundation, raise an enormous amount of money. the money disappeared. is under investigation. can you give some substance to that whole story speak with sure. wyclef is in the book as well. very interesting guy, interesting characters in his own right. the thing he was best known for in the course of the story of 2010 is that they want to become president of the republic of haiti. and actually mounted a very promising campaign into basically at the last minute he was left off the ballot. the bidding on who you ask, there's a different reason why that happen. at that time, his financial problems both personal and on the part of haiti, excuse me, his charity, his ngo, were factored into that.
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i would say that interestingly enough, even though he was quite common knowledge in haiti that there was these widespread allegations of unpaid taxes and misspent money that had gone to his aid group, most people that i was talking to, haitians who lived there, didn't really care all that much. they were much more interested in his promise as somebody basically who had lived the dream, of growing up poor outside of port-au-prince, moving to brooklyn, and then making it huge and then coming back as a major star and a major force. i had a conversation in the book year where i'm talking to somebody who is actually a waiter at a restaurant, you know. i was and who do you support in the election. he said wyclef john.
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wide wyclef? he's an american. he speaks kreyol like i do. i don't know which is more flattering. probably me. and he said yes. he said yes, i know, but if he's american, that means that when he's elected president we are all getting visas. [laughter] he said this. in terms of the allegations about his ngo which have only gotten worse in time, you know, it's hard to say. there hasn't been any really substantive proof brought forward that the allegations are wrong. the allegations are mostly based on paperwork and filings, or lack thereof, with the irs. one of the nice things about the way business is conducted in this country, clearly not without problems, but at the very least that are filing
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agencies and oversight agencies. so at least usually when you've done something wrong, so long as somebody's going to go look forward, you have probably left some kind of a paper trail. and he seems to have gotten caught up in the. you know, it's interesting, when you talk to wyclef, i think like a lot of people, haitian and otherwise, who coming to work there, i think he really does have big dreams, and he think he really does mean what he says when he says that he wants his organization to help life get better. but the organization doesn't exist anymore. it's been shut down. i don't know if there's going to be, you know, a criminal follow-up to what's happened, but it's pretty ugly. things didn't turn out well in the end for the people that were supposed to be helping.
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>> with all the problems that occur during katrina, why do you think they didn't do a more effective job, particularly with engagement of presidents bush and clinton in haiti? >> could everybody here? the question, correct me if i get it wrong, that after everything that's gone wrong in between, why didn't they do a better job with engagement of president bush and clinton in haiti. that's a very good question. i mean, basically, this is not the first time that aid has gone wrong, that it is not done what it has set out to do, and in many cases it has made problems worse. people who work in aid in developing can tell you over and over again story after story after story of places they have worked that they came in, i thought it was going to go one way, it went the other. they are not please. these are deep-seated structural problems.
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it is not really a surprise. it wasn't a surprise to me. i don't think it was a surprise to anybody who knows haiti whether i do think it was a surprise of anybody in disaster relief, that many of these issues occur. because these days they occur everywhere. they occur here in a very different way, but after sandy, you know, i was playing very -- paying very close attention to the news as the storm is coming up and you saw a lot of the same problems coming up again. a few, for instance, that in the wake of the storm that was going to be a wave of panic, there was going to be looting. society was going to break down in a mob mentality take over. people were looking for these people. immediate people in disaster relief, officials were out there looking for any sign that they could find of society breaking down, but the leaders coming in, and usually blowing it out of proportion.
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because really while there were isolated incidents or, as there are anywhere, it wasn't that big a deal. now, in katrina, more like 80, that attitude had major, major ramifications. you end up with people innocent, new orleans coaches try, they survived the disaster and they were just trying to stay alive, getting shot to death by the police because the police assumed that they were stealing something. so that's a long way of saying that it would've been nice if there had been this period of reflection, new plans were made for disaster relief going forward, that when haitians earthquake hit at an hour, at no in choosing them could have been implemented. but it's not really a surprise that that period of reflection hadn't taken place before, and the one piece of good news is that it is never too late and i
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think this would be an excellent time to have a period of reflection now. >> i have a question for you. number one is what do you think of the current president? and what do you think should have happened to when they return to haiti? and what do you know about brought earthquakes i heard there's discovery of gold and other raw materials in haiti. ..
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>> easy. [laughter] i've been waiting for this question. let me tell you, the answer is one word. it's plastics. laugh. [laughter] i have no idea. okay. so a couple things. so, first of all, this actually ended up being one to have arcs of this book -- one of the arcs of this book, politics. the president of haiti at the time of the quake actually ends up being quite a major character in the book, probably to both our surprise. and in many ways the arc of the book is what happened to his political trajectory and how that led to the elections which, because everything in haiti just has to happen at the same time, occurred the same year as the earthquake, a couple months later in november of 2010, the
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earthquake was in january, which resulted in the election of michel who was best known before becoming president of haiti as being a copa singer, a carnival singer and taking off his pants. [laughter] usually in america we wait until they become president to wait for that part -- [laughter] in haiti they decided to reverse it. i like him because his slogan is bald head. [laughter] right on. um, michel was really interesting because, you know, he came in as a political neophyte. he was a musician. he was seen as, basically, kind of like a haitian wyclef. just let that sit there for a second. and not really a serious candidate. and he very quickly became a very good and very competent
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candidate who people really liked. and it surprised a lot of people that he became president, and there are many people who cry conspiracy. there are many people who will cry conspiracy no matter what the election, but because they could not figure out how a man like sweet mickey became president of haiti. but i have to say while there was certainly, i mean, you can read about it, the election was a mess. there were all kinds of things going on. he did have a large contingent of support, especially in port-au-prince. and people really did seem to like him, and they did have high hopes. so far what i can say, i think, you know, the safest answer is that it's a little too soon to say what the results of his president si are -- presidency are going to be. things haven't changed all that much in a general sense one way or another. my friends in the press in haiti, um, i think feel a little
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more restricted than they did under president preval. it's not in any way the repression that occurred during dictatorships of the past, but that is a concern. but he's very charismatic, and he's very likable. he's much more willing to play ball with the united states investment plans for haiti, of which many -- i am critical of many of which. but i guess we'll see. it's a dodge, but there you go. in terms of what is under the ground, there is certainly gold, there's certainly all kinds of minerals in haiti. in the dominican republic, right next door -- same islands, same mountains which know no borders -- contain e enormous amounts of gold. so it wouldn't surprise me at all if there's precious metals under haiti. if you're one of those people
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who essentially believe everything going on in haiti is a grand game to secure mineral rights for american and canadian companies, if it's, i'll write a story about it. i certainly couldn't prove that at the moment. the president has been willing to sign over mineral rights, at least mineral exportation rights to parts of the country that previously had not been sold. open pit mining, not that pleasant if you happen to live in or around an open pit mind. you don't have to go anywhere farther than the dominican republic. i spent about two years as ap's correspondent in santa domingo, and i reported from a mine which is an enormous open mind project in this country which had been open for a while, closed when the price of gold went down. as you probably know, the price of gold is up and keeps going up, and so it was going to be reopened, and there was a huge fight over cleaning up that mine area. because it was a mess.
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i mean, rivers running red with pollutant, dead fish, people who had lost their water sources and now had to walk miles or were just abandoning the places that their families had lived for generations because the land had been ruined. if that's the future of haiti, um, it just seems like another problem. and in most countries where large scale mining takes place, it's not usually the host country that benefits from it. but as to -- i know this wasn't your question, but just responding to a question that is sometimes asked, as to whether or not -- the key to everything is rather than plastics, gold, i'm not sure. gold's been a big deal in the caribbean since chris columbus stumbled on to haitiing when he decided to move and went to the dr. i don't think there's one single answer that explains everything that's going on.
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it is probably part of the mix. and i'll let somebody else propose how to fix the haiti. and i'm going to leave this up to you. i'm going to dodge this as artfully as i dodged the question about sweet mickey. >> was the impact of the earthquake largely in port-au-prince area or outside it too? >> the question was, was the impact of the earthquake largely in port-au-prince or outside of it which is a fantastic question was this is often -- because this is often overlooked. it's even hard to write about even in the length of of manuscript of a book. the thing is port-au-prince has often stood in for haiti in the imaginations of people outside. it's a nice way to describe the country by its capital, but it is an enormous area in which many, many people live, millions of people live, most of the country's population, which is not in port-au-prince. it's a big deal for lots of reasons. if you're trying to increase
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tourism which there are people who want to do there are good and bad things about that. the odds of haiti becoming a tourest destination is actually quite strong. the odds of port-au-prince becoming a tour destination are n be il. nil. i mean, that's a long, long way away. it's a crowded, big city. very hard to get around. it's not going draw in the crowds. that's one thing. but it also impacted the way that people thought about where to direct their aid, and i want caused issues in haiti because there were people in the other parts of the country who were dealing with crises or emergencies, and they were very angry that aid was being concentrate inside port-au-prince and the rest of the country being ignored. >> [inaudible] >> well, so this is the thing, right? is that, um, because there's two
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participants of the this. -- parts of this. on the one hand, the impact of the earthquake was basically in southern haiti. the epicenter was close to port-au-prince. port-au-prince was by far the largest center of mortality, um, and it was by far the largest center of homelessness and other kinds of need. however, it was not the only place that was impacted directly by the shaking of the earthquake, it wasn't even the epicenter of the earthquake. it was nearby, but between leogone and port a prince is basically the beginning of the countryside whose name means cross roads which is the reason that chapter 4 is called the crossroads in part. another beautiful city in southern haiti on the other side of the mountains was also very hard hit. and so it was ironic because there was this concern that all the aid was being concentrated in port a prince --
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port-au-prince. and the parts of the country that had not been impacted by the earthquake were being forgotten, but the aid effort -- especially immediately after the earthquake -- didn't even do a good job of hitting the entire quake zone. areas that were actually right on top of the epicenter, and i can say because as the resident correspondent -- ap sent in an enormous team. there were many, many journalists who came in for us to report which really freed a lot of us up to do all kinds of different things, and since i was the resident guy, i spoke creole, i knew the country, i was happy to move armed, and i probably looked like a guy who needed a break from the city, i kept getting sent out to places outside of the quake zone that people were fleeing to. and i can tell you a couple things briefly. one, leogone and karfur, leogone
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especially was wiped out. even having survived the earthquake in port-au-prince and seeing what is otherwise an unimaginable level of destruction, it looked like a jerry bruckheimer film. and that's all i could think. it looked like a monster had come out of the ocean and just smashed the entire city. it was flatted. there was nothing left. it was just a complete dead zone. many people died, many people survived the collapse of their homes, but that place was gone. this is a story that is not in the book, so i'll share it with you. i was actually sitting on the back of a pickup truck in leogone i think four days after the earthquake typing out my story, because i had to file. you've got to file. and i was sitting there and just sort of typing what i saw. i think i even typed jerry bruckheimer film into my mac book. and a group of guys from the
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united states, clearly wasn't haiti, came around, and we were sitting next to the hull of what had been a hospital. everything basically in front of us was flat, and this hospital was sort of cracked and listing. and they came through, and they said, excuse me, are you american? i'm like, yes, i am. is the hospital open? i'm like, well, literally -- [laughter] i didn't say that. i think i just said no. clearly not operating. what they said to me was they had come from kansas city, and they had raised money, and they had brought pharmaceuticals and bandages and medical supply, and they had come to haiti, and they had driven out to leogone because they heard that it was in dire strait, and they wanted to help, and they asked me if i'd seen any ngos walking around that they could give this
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medicine to so that the medicine could get to the people. they're like, are you an ngo? no, i'm not an ngo. they thanked me, and they walked out into this rubble field. this was, i think, four days after the earthquake. and the situation was like this for a while. so it was really interesting. it was like people, as i said, people were overly focused on parts of the country that were hit by the earthquake, but they were so focused on port-au-prince, as they always had been, that they weren't even helping other places. and not to run on too long but just briefly, was a major reasons why there was so much confusion at the beginning of the kohl la outbreak -- cholera outbreak at the beginning of october 2010. there was a supposition in most of the world outside haiti that was paying attention to this news that surely the cholera outbreak was a result of the earthquake. and one of the most important
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steps, i think, that we were doing in our stories at the beginning, ultimately, we ended up breaking the story and showing the link between u.n. peace keep efforts having brought the cholera bacteria into haiti and, essentially, all the evidence has shown that the u.n. caused the outbreak. but it was very hard to explain to people because they were like haiti got hit by an earthquake. but the cholera started in may in two different places. and in the popular imagination since haiti is haiti and haiti is port a prince, that was very hard to explain this is outside of the quake zone, and it's very unlikely that it's a direct result of the earthquake. i can talk more about that later. yes. sure, one fast one. i'll let him pick. >> so, jonathan, what do you see as the future of haiti ten years from now?
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>> oh, that's fast. [laughter] i don't know. thank you. i don't know. thank you. i really don't know. i don't know. i can say this, haiti as a country, port-au-prince as a city and the other cities of the quake zone and other potential quake zones -- because there has historically been large earthquakes in northern haiti and northwestern haiti which are routinely hit by devastating floods, tropical storms and hurricanings. hurricanes. and those places are no better prepared for a disaster than they were on the 12th of january of 2010. in that sense if there's another disaster, and there could well be because the bar for disaster's very low, you know, a couple days of rain, like i said, a storm in other places would basically be a bump in the
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road, it would be devastating in. there is a chance. there can be optimism. optimism needs no evidence really, so i really don't need to give you any. if you want to have optimism, go ahead. i share it. as long as people a alive -- alive, there's hope. as long as people still have an opportunity to make choices, they can make better choices. we in developed nations who are dealing with haiti, um, we are linked, we are all in one way or another because we are fully invested in the country's past, and we have literal investments in its future. we can decide to make good decisions that will make the country stronger and more resilient and better able to withstand disaster and more productive on its own. we can decide to step back and allow haitians to lead the way. this doesn't just apply to haiti, this applies to all kinds of countries, but since we're
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here to talk about haiti, i'll say that. and we can decide to, we can decide to allow for the possibility that we've been wrong and that we've made mistakes. and we can, and we can try to do better for the future. if those things are done, it's going to be a slow process. things aren't going to turn around immediately. but ten years from now things could be a lot better. if we keep going down the road that we're going right now, if we keep doing what we're doing, what's happening right now today, ten years from now probably things are going to be worse. there'll probably be more people, more disaster and more suffering. but there's no reason why that has to happen. i'm not an evangelist journalist, just trying to show how it is. but i do care about this country. it was my home for three and a half years. i have a lot of friends there. it's a wonderful place. and i really think that if there is some good that can come out of this, it is that we can look
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back at the mistakes that have been made in the past, and we can choose to make a better future. >> booktv is on facebook. like us to interact with booktv guests and viewers, watch videos and get up-to-date information on events. facebook.com/booktv. >> the best day to be a planner in america was july 9th, 2004, when dick jackson, howie frumpkin and lawrence frank came out with a book called "urban sprawl and public health." and what that book finally did was put some technical epidemiological meat on the sociological bones that we planners have been arguing about and said in no uncertain terms, the suburbs are killing us, and here's why. and cities can save us, and here's why. by far the greatest aspect of that epidemic, or i should say of our health challenges in america is the obesity epidemic.
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it's not that obesity itself is the problem, of course, but all the illnesses that obesity leads to, principle among them diabetes. diabetes now consumes 2% of our gross national product. a child born after 2000 has a one in three chance in america of becoming a diabetic. we are now looking at the first generation of americans who are going to live shorter lives than their parents. that's probably not a huge surprise to you. we've all been talking now for a long time about the wonders of the american corn syrup-based diet and the 40-ounce and 80-ounce sodas people are drinking, but only recently are has the argument, have the studies been done comparing diet and physical activity. one in england was called gluttony versus sloth. [laughter] another doctor at the mayo clinic put patients in electronic underwear and measured every motion, set a certain dietetic regime, studied
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their weight, started pumping calories in, and then some people got fat and other people didn't. and expecting some sort of, you know, metabolic factor at work or a genetic dna factor at work, they pound the only thing that changed with these people was the amount of daily activity. this then you go a step further, and you look at these books called the blues, buttener, dan buttener in the blue zones. where in the world do people live the longest. you see what they do, including drink red wine, and then you put it in a book, and you sell millions. the number one rule? move naturally. don't become a weekend war or your, don't run marathons and triathlons. don't ask people to exercise, they will stop. find a way to build normal motion into your everyday life as part of a work routine. who's going to go from being a, you know, an accountant to being a lumberjack? that's not going to happen. then they say, well, you know, bike to work. or, you know, walk to the store.
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and the one thing that book forgets to ask, forgets to mention is that in half of america you can't bike to work, and you certainly can't walk to the store because you live off of a highway that the store is off of, right? so it's fundamentally how we build our communities in the long run, but in the short run it's about where you choose to live, and that's a choice you can make. that's nowhere more obvious in the other big discussion which is car crashes. and car crashes are funny because on the other hand we naturalize it. we're like, oh, that's just a part of living that there's a 1 in 200 chance that i'll die in a car crash, ask there's a 1 in 3 chance that i'll be jury inside a car crash -- injured in a car crash. ultimately, we're good drivers, we can avoid the accidents. 85% of a people in a hospital recovering from an accident that they had cause rated themselves as better than average drivers. but the fact is it's not the same all over the world, and
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it's not the same all over america. and so we have a rate where 14 americans out of 900 are dying -- 14 americans out of 100,000 are dying every year in car crashes, 14 out of 100,000. in england it's 5 out of 100,000. in fact, no one has half the crashes we have. in new york city it's 3 out of 100,000. new york city has saved more lives in traffic than were lost since september 11th than were lost on september 11th. and, in fact, if our entire country were to share new york city's accident rate, we would save 24,000 lives a year. there's a big difference between urban living and suburban or rural living in terms of that aspect of our lives. and, again, in the short term we can build places -- in the long term, we can build places to be safer. in the short term, we can just decide to live in more urban environments. a wonderful study, you know, dick jackson famously asked the question in what sort of city
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are you most likely to die in a pool of blood? that's how he puts it the to his audiences. [laughter] and they compared murder by strangers -- crime -- to car crashes and added the two together. they looked at portland, vancouver and seattle. in all three places you were 15% safer in the brittiest inner or city than the leafy, wealthy suburbs because of the combination of those two. and we move to the suburbs for the safety of our children, right? and then finally asthma. who talks about asthma? 14 americans die can every year from asthma. it's three times the rate of the '90s, and it's entirely due to automotive exhaust. entirely. i mean, 90 whatever percent. you know, pollution isn't what it used to be. the sickest places in america are the places which are the most car dependent. and, you know, in phoenix you've got four months out of the year that healthy people are not supposed to leave their houses because of the amount of driving that's going on. so, again, what's the solution?
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the city. finally, the most interesting discussion maybe is the environmental discussion which has turned 180 degrees in the last ten years. you know, have you looked at -- even within the global warming discussion, you talk about carbon footprint and the vulcan project which maps where our carbon footprints are, you know, red is bad, green is good. you look at the united states, and it looks like the satellite night sky of the united states. hottest around the cities, cooler in the suburbs, coolest out in the country, right? but that measures co2 per square mile. in 2001 scott bernstein at the center for neighborhood technology in chicago said what happens if instead of measuring co2 per mile we start measuring co2 per person or per household? because there are only a certain number of us, and we can choose to live in places where we pollute more orless. if you look per household, the red and the green just flip,
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absolutely change places. and by far the healthiest place you can live is in the city. manhattanites burn a third of the fossil fuels of people in dallas, for example. they use a third to have electricity. why? well, they're heating and cooling their neighbors, right? their apartments are touching. but even more importantly than that mostly is the less driving they're doing. transportation is the greatest single contributor to, um, to most civilians' greenhouse gas. in our daily lives the big choice we can make, you know, when i built my house in washington, d.c., i made sure i cleaned the shelves on the sustainability store. i got the solar possible, the solar hot water heater, the superinsulation, the bamboo flooring, i have a wood-burning stove that supposedly a log burning contributes less co2 to the environment than if it were left to decompose in the forest naturally. and, of course, i have the energy saver lightbulbs.
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to change an entire house to those lightbulbs saves as much electricity in a -- i should say saves as much or carbon in a year as moving to a walkable neighborhood saves in a week. so the whole lead gizmo green gadget discussion, you know, what can i buy to make myself more sustainable is the wrong discussion. it should be where can i live and how can i live to contribution less, and the answer, again, is the city. this this is fundamentally the opposite of the american ethos, you know? from jefferson on. cities are test eleven cial to the morals, the health and the freedom of man. if we continue to pile upon ourselves in cities as they do in europe, we shall take to eating one another as they do there. [laughter] that was jefferson. and that just continued and continued, and it made sense back in the, you know, 1700s when we had the whole country to spread out on and the biggest by-product of transportation was fertilizer. but that's not the case now. so it's a longer discussion.
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all three of these are a longer discussion. but they're all national crises. we have a national economic crisis which is only going to get tougher, we have a national health crisis which is bankrupting us, and as sandy proved all too clear a couple weeks ago, global warming is beginning to effect us dramatically, and now we're not talking about stopping it, we're talking about mitigating it. the more that we can become an urban society, the more we can do to solve these problems that are at the center of our challenges as a nation. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. ernest freeberg, humanities professor at the university of tennessee, recounts how thomas edison's invention of the incandescent lightbulb transformed the united states in "the age of edison: electric light and the invention of modern america."
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in "the terror courts," jess bravin, supreme court correspondent for "the wall street journal", reports on legal issues surrounding the prosecution of alleged terrorists by military commissions. former boston globe reporters recount the life of whitey bulger, infamous boston gangster and fbi informant in "whitey: the life of america's most notorious mob boss." in "china goes global," david shambaugh from george washington university examines china's growing economic influence in the global marketplace. marguerite hold toway, director of science at columbia university, recalls the life of john randall jr. in "the measure of manhattan: the tumultuous career and surprising legacy of john randall jr. " look for these titles in
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bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on booktv and on booktv.org. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> tell us what you think about our programming this weekend. you can tweet us @booktv, comment on our facebook wall or send us an e-mail. booktv, nonfiction books every weekend on c-span2. >>

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